Starting July 19, Temple Beth El and Discovered Traditions Gift Shop will be closed on Thursdays. This will allow us to reduce operating expenses while experimenting with new staffing schedules. Don't forget to join us Friday night at 5:45 pm for a warm and welcoming Preneg, followed by an uplifting Shabbat Evening Service.

Baby Boomers/Empty Nesters

In 2016, Temple Beth El joined a Union for Reform (URJ) Community of Practice and was awarded an Impact & Innovation grant by the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte to embark on a journey to engage and re-engage our Baby Boomers and Empty Nesters.

On August 30, 2017 we held a Big Reveal event where we revealed the top themes that came from the Listening Campaign and explored actions in small interest groups.

Since the big reveal, we have identified these targeted areas of interest for our Baby Boomers:

CREATING SMALL GROUPS

Update 7/9/18

Small Groups You told us you want deeper relationships and real Jewish connections
Update from the Small Groups Leaders, Joy Miller and Janette Schwartz

The June 12 Small Groups Info Session and Leader Recruitment Event was fabulous. If you were in attendance, you heard and saw the new name and logo for Small Groups. TriBE was the choice of the Small Groups Leadership Team because it contained the letters TBE representing the importance of Temple Beth El in our Jewish lives and reminding us of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

Keeping that in mind, the Leadership Team determined that our goal this year is to create at least 12 Small Groups with Leaders and/or Co-leaders. Leaders would be trained to lead a TriBE consisting of 5-15 Boomer/Empty Nesters. Training will be held on Sunday morning, August 19 at 10:00 am. The alternate date of training is Wednesday, August 22 at 6:30 pm. Leaders need to attend only one of these training sessions. RSVP now!  If you are interested in becoming a Leader of a TriBE and did not submit your interest card at the June 12 event, please contact Joy Miller or Janette Schwartz. who would be happy to fill you in and add your name to the training list.

The response to becoming a Leader was wonderful. Of the approximately 150 attendees, about 45 signed on for training. After training, the offerings for TriBEs will be determined by the Leaders of that TriBE. There were so many great ideas mentioned to engage members into a TriBEBook Clubs, Shabbat Dinners, Singles, Couples, Professional Affiliations, Affinities such as Writing, Hiking, Art, and Cooking. 

TriBEs are intended to engage Temple members to become stakeholders and to develop a living Judaism that speaks to their daily interests, concerns, needs, and aspirations. Members of TriBEs will be learning, playing, praying, acting, caring, and become accountable to each other.

Each TriBE will create a Brit (Covenant) guiding the members in a safe and caring community. The Leaders will likely host the first meeting, but will be encouraging all members of the TriBE to share responsibilities. The day, time, and venue of meetings will be determined by the Leader with input of the TriBE. Meetings of TriBEs will range from 90 minutes to 120 minutes with extra time for an affinity if needed. Meaningful discussions will take place at the meeting based on curriculum from TBE and/or URJ affiliations. All TriBEs need now is YOU!

SAVE THE DATE !
Boomer/Empty Nester Launch/ Kickoff Matching Party
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

•    Find your TriBE!
•    Find your people!
•    Join a TriBE!


Update 5/11/18

Update from the Small Groups Leaders, Joy Miller and Janette Schwartz:
You told us you want deeper relationships and real Jewish connections. We have created a Small Groups framework just for you! Come learn about our plans and consider joining our efforts. Please join us for this special evening for Baby Boomers & Empty Nesters on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (RSVP required by June 6.)

6:30 pm – Light Dinner
7:00 pm – Small Groups Update

A Leadership Manual has been created to guide us in our efforts to build and sustain Small Groups at Temple Beth El. Fortunately, you don’t need to already know how to be a successful group leader or have prior experience in being one! The skills to be an effective Small Group leader will be spelled out simply and clearly in the manual. There will always be support available to increase your skills and to guide the content of your meetings. The only requirement necessary is to be open to having fun, learning, and meeting new friends.

We can’t wait to see you and share our news. Come down, shmooze, and get as excited as we are! Please remember to RSVP by June 6 (at midnight) so we know you’re coming! Questions? Call or email Joy Miller or Janette Schwartz.

In the event that you are unable to attend the June 12  Small Groups Info Session, but would still like to become a Small Group Leader or Co-Leader, do not worry! Please contact Joy Miller or Janette Schwartz. Special arrangements can easily be made to ensure that you, too, are given the necessary tools to become a Small Group Leader!

Update 4/10/18

Under the leadership of Joy Miller and Janette Schwartz, our Small Groups Leadership Team continues to develop our model for sustainable small groups at Temple Beth El. Save the Date: June 12 at 6:30 pm when we invite all who may be interested in serving as a small group lay leader or co-leader to come find out more! A light dinner will be served. Contact Joy Miller, or Janette Schwartz for more information.

Update 3/5/18

Vision Statement:
A Vision for Small Groups at Temple Beth El

Imagine hundreds of Temple members gathering regularly in small groups to learn and laugh, to rest and rejuvenate, and to deepen connections to one another, to Temple, to the Jewish people, and to the rhythms of Jewish time and life. Small Groups at Temple Beth El will help us realize a future of a connected, committed membership through the formation of small groups which will:

  • Focus on the lives and significant concerns of our members.
  • Organize around shared interests, life stages and geographies.
  • Feature shared Jewish experiences, learning and celebration.
  • Be self-led by lay leaders working in a group dynamic.

Small Group Leadership Team: Robert Abramowitz, Beth DiNicola, Donna Foster, Andy Harkavy, Rabbi Asher Knight, Linda Lepow, Steve Lepow, Holly Levinson, Ellen Martin, Pam Menaker, Joy Miller, Ellen Reich, Janette Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz, John Small, Natalie Tunney, Liz Wahls, David Weinrib

Update 1/11/18

Many congregants feel most connected to community when they are in small intimate groups, often outside the walls of the synagogue. While being large has advantages, our congregation’s size can be a barrier to making real and personal connections. Large events and worship services can be intimidating. And, while important to the life of the synagogue, large events and services are not typically where most congregants develop lasting, meaningful relationships with each other.

During the coming year, our Baby Boomer engagement efforts will focus on making our large congregation seem small by creating a sustainable small group model for Baby Boomer congregants. We have created a Baby Boomer Small Group Leadership Team to develop and launch our small group initiative. Stay tuned for updates from this team in the months ahead.

For more ways to engage in programming available with Temple Beth El, we invite you to check out the S.P.I.C.E. flyer.

For more information about how to get involved in the Baby Boomer Initiative, please contact Holly Levinson, chair of the Steering Committee and Working Group.

JEWISH BASED TRAVEL

 

Update 5/11/18

After much discussion, time, and effort, we have decided to cancel the Europe Trip at this time for a variety of reasons. We deeply appreciate your commitment to help us start Jewish Travel at Temple Beth El. In the coming weeks, we are going to meet and begin refocusing our thinking, talking with members, and re-considering both regional and international travel opportunities. If you are interested in being part of this group, please email Sue Hummel.

Update 2/2/18

Come travel, learn, worship and build community in 2018! Jewish Based Travel was the top area of interest among those who attended “The Big Reveal.”

Want to talk to someone about our travel plans and how to get involved?  Connect with our Baby Boomer Travel Co-chairs, John and Marsha Small.

For more ways to engage in programming available with Temple Beth El, we invite you to check out the S.P.I.C.E. flyer.

For more information about how to get involved in the Baby Boomer Initiative, please contact Holly Levinson, chair of the Steering Committee and Working Group.

RELEVANT BACKGROUND INFORMATION

April 25 2017 Blog by Rabbi Knight

August 30 2017 The Big Reveal Presentation Slides

2017 URJ Biennial Presentation – Owning Engagement Priorities

In 2016, Temple Beth El joined a Union for Reform (URJ) Community of Practice and was awarded an Impact & Innovation grant by the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte to embark on a journey to engage and re-engage our Baby Boomers and Empty Nesters.

A Steering Committee and Work Group was formed and planning began in late 2016.

On March 29, 2017 we kicked off a Listening Campaign with over 200 people in attendance and continued in-home Listening Circles during the Spring 2017.

Baby Boomer Working Group Members: Susan Abroms, Cary Bernstein, Laura Bernstein (Executive Director), Ann Baumgarten, Lynne Cojac, Beth Di Nicola, Marla Emery, Donna Foster, Andy Harkavy (Director of Congregational Engagement), Alan Kronovet, Rabbi Asher Knight, Linda Lepow, Steve Lepow, Hal Levinson, Holly Levinson (Chair), Ellen Martin, Pam Menaker, Polly Menaker, Scott Menaker, Steve Menaker, Joy Miller, Candace Naliboff (Director of Member Services), Rich Osborne, Melissa Raphael, Steve Raphael, Mark Rosen, Ginny Rosenberg (TBE President), Janette Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz, John Small, Marsha Small, Liz Wahls, Sue Worrel.

For more information about how to get involved in the Baby Boomer Initiative, please contact Holly Levinson, chair of the Steering Committee and Working Group.

GROUP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

 

Update 5/11/18

The Baby Boomer Volunteer group finished out a year of group-based volunteering by participating in Mitzvah Day. Together, they learned that Mitzvah Day is not just for families with children. Special thanks go to our Mitzvah Day team coordinator Steve Menaker and his wife, Polly. Baby Boomers made and delivered 550 lunches to the Urban Ministry Center. While working, participants became reacquainted with old friends and met new ones. 

These group volunteer opportunities are an easy way to connect with other Baby Boomers at Temple Beth El. It is our hope to continue to offer group-based volunteer activities for Baby Boomers during the next year, and we need you! If you would like to join this effort, please contact Sue Hummel.

While we will not host monthly Baby Boomer Volunteering events during the summer months, the need for volunteers continues, and we encourage you to help. Our Shalom Park Freedom School works to prevent summertime learning loss for students from Sterling and Huntingtowne Farms Elementary Schools, and we need adult volunteers to make it happen! Contact Kathy Warshaw or Hilary Rosenbaum.

Update 4/10/18

The Baby Boomer group had a very successful evening on March 10 helping with Room In the Inn. Volunteers made sure 12 Charlotte homeless neighbors had a place to sleep and eat and felt at home on a cold winter night. Thank you to everyone who participated!

On Sunday, April 29, ten baby boomer volunteers gathered to prepare soup and sandwiches to help feed Charlotte homeless neighbors at the Urban Ministry Center. This popular volunteer event was full – thanks go to Shana Suris and Howard Glazer for their leadership in organizing this event.

Baby Boomers met on Mitzvah Day, Sunday, May 6 to make sandwiches and deliver them to the Urban Ministry Center. For more information, please contact Steve Menaker.

While we will not host monthly Baby Boomer Volunteering events during the summer months, the need for volunteers continues, and we encourage you to help. Our Shalom Park Freedom School works to prevent summertime learning loss for students from Sterling and Huntingtowne Farms Elementary Schools, and we need adult volunteers to make it happen! Contact Kathy Warshaw or Hilary Rosenbaum.

Update 1/11/18

Join us as we work to improve our community and connect with fellow congregants at the same time! We will have monthly opportunities to help those in need while connecting with fellow congregants in a small group setting. We plan to include a dose of spirituality and time for reflection into these events as well.  What’s on the calendar now?

Mitzvah Day
May 6, 2018
The Baby Boomer group has committed to a group activity which has not yet been planned. If interested, contact Steve Menaker.

Past projects: Cooking for JFS with Havdalah Service, Soup Kitchen-Urban Ministry Center, Room in the Inn

Want to talk with someone about our volunteer opportunities and how to get involved?  Connect with our Volunteer Co-chairs, Melissa Raphael and Steve Menaker.

For more ways to engage in programming available with Temple Beth El, we invite you to check out the S.P.I.C.E. flyer.

For more information about how to get involved in the Baby Boomer Initiative, please contact Holly Levinson, chair of the Steering Committee and Working Group.